Manage hypertension by following a healthy diet & active lifestyle. DASH, the best diet for high blood pressure is key to maintaining optimal blood pressure.
Feeling stressed and palpitation creeping up on you? You get the dreaded news that your blood pressure is on the higher side. Should you stress more? No. Instead, dietary changes and a healthy lifestyle will be your target from now on. Fortunately, certain diets such as the DASH – dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension – diet may help you reach your fitness goals. As the global caseload is increasing each year, most fitness enthusiasts often look out for natural ways to bring their blood pressure under control. Alongside eating a nutritious diet, your healthcare provider may suggest you make certain lifestyle changes. Exercising and practicing meditation regularly may help reduce your risk of suffering several cardiac problems. So worry not and let us show you why the DASH diet is the best diet for high blood pressure.
Importance of diet for high blood pressure-
Eating a nutritious and right diet is crucial for maintaining optimal blood pressure levels and overall well-being. It fuels your body to carry out different sets of functions and protects against an array of health problems, including cardiac diseases. Foods that contain high amounts of sodium, unhealthy fats, and carbs may trigger hypertension in humans. Studies pinpoint that incorporating plant-based foods, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products may contribute to controlling hypertension. Also, limiting sodium intake within normal limits makes an effective way to manage blood pressure and maintain heart health.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), especially when clubbed with limited sodium intake is often looked upon as the best diet for high blood pressure.
What is a DASH diet?
DASH – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension – is a specially high blood pressure diet designed food plan to help manage or treat hypertension naturally. The typical DASH diet includes foods that are rich in three vital nutrients- potassium, calcium, and magnesium to help control blood pressure (BP). It has been observed that the diet improves cardiac health by “maintaining and “regulating blood pressure and reducing the dreaded low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in us. High blood pressure and uncontrolled levels of LDL or bad cholesterol make two common risk factors for heart diseases. Since the DASH diet focuses on regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it makes an effective way to reach optimal heart health naturally and is the best diet for high blood pressure.
Which foods are best for managing high blood pressure?
High blood pressure adversely affects your overall health as well as your everyday performance. While certain medications including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can help you with your hypertension; the real benefit comes when you include certain foods and consciously make healthy lifestyle changes that may bring down your blood pressure levels.
When you eat nutrient-dense foods rich in potassium and magnesium and drastically reduce your sodium intake, you tend to control your high blood pressure.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, pomegranate, and grapefruit help you in maintaining your blood pressure levels. These are a storehouse of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds that may help in lowering your blood pressure.
Grapefruits are a rich source of vitamin C, pectin fibers, and antioxidants. When you drink grapefruit juice regularly you tend to decrease both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Always include citrus fruit in salads or drink grapefruit juice regularly for a couple of weeks to control your hypertension.
Salmon or other fatty fishes such as Peruvian Anchovies make a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for optimal heart health. These crucial fatty acids may help lower blood pressure by lowering the levels of oxylipin (compounds that constrict blood vessels) and decreasing the inflammation in the body.
Adding two servings of fatty fish to your diet for high blood pressure may help control hypertension.
Eating magnesium-rich whole grains like amaranth may help reduce blood pressure levels. A cup of cooked amaranth can fulfill 38% of your daily magnesium requirement. When you include whole grains into your lifestyle you may lower the risk of common heart problems. An 8% reduction in the risk of high blood pressure has been noticed when intake of whole grains is increased by 30 grams per day. Thus, including amaranth along with other whole grains makes an appreciable way to get the most out of the DASH- the best diet for high blood pressure.
The brilliantly colored, flavorful, and crunchy vegetable is a common kitchen staple. Carrots come brimming with chlorogenic, p-coumaric, and caffeic acids which are known for their vasodilating actions. Besides, these compounds may help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.
Greek yogurt is a dairy product made from cow’s milk that is strained to remove whey, thus contributing to its dense and thick consistency. The dairy product shares a rich nutrient profile and contains potassium and calcium- the two essential minerals that are known to lower blood pressure.
Plant seeds, especially Chia and flax seeds come brimming with dietary fiber and blood-pressure-lowering nutrients such as potassium & magnesium. Apart from regulating blood pressure levels, these fiber-rich seeds may help suppress appetite and manage the perfect body mass index (BMI).
Beetroot is densely packed with nutrients and making them a part of your diet to lower blood pressure may provide exceptional results. Beetroot and beet greens contain appreciable amounts of nitrates which pose a dilating action on the blood vessels and may help lower blood pressure.
As per a two-week study in 24 hypertensive people, it is found that consuming 250 ml of beet juice and eating 250 grams of cooked beetroot regularly for a couple of weeks resulted in reduced blood pressure. Interestingly, beet juice was found to have greater antihypertensive effects than cooked beetroot in this case.
Beetroots make an inevitable part of the best diets for high blood pressure and offer an array of health benefits such as improved blood count, immunity, and better energy levels, alongside optimal blood pressure.